Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ★★★½

Better than I remember it being, but still the worst of the three (what? There's a 4th? Are you sure?).

A lot of people find Short Round or Willie annoying, but that's really not a huge deal for me. They both have some mildly bothersome moments, but Short Round and Indie's relationship is quite endearing and Willie acts exactly as you'd expect... having been thrown into the jungle with some ruffian like Han Sol... I mean Indiana.

Much more of a grate for me is how dark and twisted things get once the crew witness the first human sacrifice. George Lucas himself attributed the dark nature of the film to his then ongoing divorce, and I think it shows. The scene is grim and dragged out, and from this point on until the mine-cart chase, it's just nasty... Child torture, Voodoo dolls, forced drinking of blood. The film could function without these elements, or at least a significant downplaying of them, and still retain its premise and thematic. Excluding some of these elements could also allow for better pacing and a more even tone.

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